New Life for Leftover Paint

Boise home inspector says give new life to leftover paint.

What should you do with leftover paint once your painting projects are completed? That’s the question thousands of home owners ask each year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 10% of the house paints purchased in the United States each year… about 65 to 69 million gallons is ultimately discarded.

Leftover household paint is a concern to communities throughout the country because of its high volume in the wast stream, resulting waste management costs, and potential for reduction, recovery, reuse and recycling. Leftover paint can also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fungicides and, in the case of very old paint, significant quantities of hazardous metals such as lead and mercury.

If you want to keep the paint for future touch-ups, cover the opening with plastic wrap and then make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn’t leak. Then store the paint can upside down. This will create a tight seal around the lid and keep the paint fresh longer. You may want to keep inside some sort of containment in case of some spillage.

What to do with unwanted Paint:

Consider donating the paint for reuse. Many organizations will accept paint that’s in good condition (defined as uncontaminated paint still with a smoth consistency). The paint must be donated in a leabeled container. You can check for donation options by contacting charitable organizations in your area. Your local high school or community theatre group may accept paint donations as well.

Recycle… Water-based, or latex, paint can be recycled into new paint or used to create other products. Each municipality has different requirements, depending on wheather the paint is oil-based or water-based. You can check with your local environmental agency and also visit for recycling options.

Submitted by DavinStrand on Thu, 07/15/2010 - 03:07.
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